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Sweden marks first Raoul Wallenberg Day to honor man who saved Jews

Aug. 27, 2013 at 9:40 AM

STOCKHOLM, Sweden, Aug. 27 (UPI) -- Sweden celebrated its first official Raoul Wallenberg Day Tuesday to honor the diplomat who rescued thousands of Jews from the Holocaust, officials said.

Ministers Birgitta Ohlsson and Erik Ullenhag, as well as Wallenberg's niece, Cecilia Ahlberg, will speak Tuesday afternoon at a Raoul Wallenberg Day event, The Local.se reported.

The event will be held at a town square in Stockholm named after the diplomat, whose fate remains a mystery.

The day is the result of a Swedish Academy decision to designate Aug. 27th as an official commemoration for Wallenberg.

Wallenberg is credited with saving 100,000 Jews while he was stationed in Hungary during World War II.

He was last seen in Budapest in 1945, when Soviet forces took the city from Germany.

Records said he died in a Moscow prison in 1947, but exact details are unknown.

"It's has always been very important to the family; we've been working on this for many years, firstly to try and have him released from the Soviet Union and secondly to learn the truth about what happened to him," Ahlberg said. "We would really like to find out."

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